The Leadership Academy’s flagship, research- and standards-based Aspiring Principals Program is a national model for building leadership pipelines. To help aspiring leaders develop the skills they need to be effective principals who foster educational equity, the program takes an experiential learning approach, with a residency or other job-embedded learning opportunities as well as learning under mentor principals. Since launching the program in New York City in 2003, we have seen participants have great success as school and school system leaders. We know that every school system has its own context, so we work with system leaders to design and deliver programs that work for their communities. Our team has worked closely with systems in 16 states to either improve existing aspiring principal programs or to build an initiative from the ground up. The Aspiring Principals Program model has four distinct phases:
- Phase 1: Recruitment and a rigorous selection process
- Phase 2: A multi-week summer intensive that engages participants in a standards-based curriculum simulating the actual challenges of the principalship
- Phase 3: A school-based residency under the mentorship of an experienced principal
- Phase 4: A summer planning phase to ensure that participants transition successfully into school leadership positions
Clients can replicate or adapt any and all Aspiring Principals Program phases or select from the comprehensive portfolio of services outlined below to meet the needs of their communities:
- Design Curriculum and Facilitate Learning: Develop the skills of your own staff to prepare, train and support aspiring leaders. We work side-by-side with you to develop experiential, problem-based curricula and learning environments that are sustainable and responsive to local contexts.
- Develop Standards Framework: Establish a school leadership framework that identifies the skills, knowledge and dispositions that a school leader needs to drive student achievement. Comprehensive, behavior-based standards are the foundation for our principal training programs, from recruitment and selection to curriculum and program design. We can address local leadership standards by adapting our School Leadership Framework or help you build one from the ground up.
- Build Strong Candidate Pool and Cohort Selection: Create a targeted, strategic process for recruiting a strong candidate pool and selecting a cohort ready to tackle the program. We’ve learned by doing and know how to recruit and select candidates who are both highly qualified and committed to social justice by using the leadership standards to assess readiness.
- Develop Program Design, Structure and Implementation: Develop the model and align your resources to support your vision for sustainable school leadership development. We help you design the necessary infrastructure that support learning from program to finance, and develop an implementation strategy to get program buy-in.
- Train and Support Mentor Principals: Develop mentor principals who prepare aspiring principals for the day-to-day realities of school leadership during their residency or internship. It is one of the most critical components to a new principal’s success. The internship provides aspiring principals with standards-based learning opportunities to engage in authentic, school-based leadership experiences.
- Design and Conduct Program Assessment and Evaluation: To ensure you have the tools to continuously improve your program and establish accountability, we help you create the right tools for evaluating the impact of your program and learning from those assessments.